By Ian Golden, Date: 25/10/13
Wales and Italy have named their 19-man squads for the big World Cup opening day match this Saturday at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff (kick-off 4.30pm).
There are three potential debutants in the Wales side – Warrington’s Rhys Evans who could be donning a Welsh shirt for the first time in three years to join his twin brother Ben – the two played together for Wales at under 18 level – Larne Patrick of Huddersfield Giants and Anthony Walker of St Helens.
They are just three of 13 Super League players in Wales’ squad with Tyson Frizell, a late addition after recovering from an injury and returning from Australia, included as their only NRL player.
Jordan James, if selected, will take to the field for Wales for the 28th time, just two short of Ian Watson’s caps record, and on the tenth anniversary of his international debut, when he scored a try in Wales’ 74-4 win over Russia in Aberavon on October 26th 2003.
Wales coach Iestyn Harris said: “I think we have a really strong team for the opening game. We’re going into it with confidence but we know that we’ll have a tough time against Italy especially after their win over England last week.
“I’m pleased that Tyson Frizell has overcome his injury. He, and of course all of the others, have worked hard to be here. We now can’t wait for Saturday to play in front of a packed house at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.”
Italy head coach Carlo Napolitano has named 10 NRL players in his 19-man squad who will be captained by full-back Anthony Minichiello. Seven others play for lower league clubs in Australia.
The only exceptions are Anthony Laffranchi of St Helens who has 52 Super League appearances under his belt, and Raymond Nasso of French Elite club, Avignon.
James Saltonstall of Warrington Wolves, who starred in last week’s win over England, doesn’t make the side. His absence is one of just three changes to Italy’s starting line-up from that game.
Italy face Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday October 26, as part of a double header of matches including England v Australia which follow the RLWC2013 Opening Ceremony
To make sure you’ll #bethere buy now at www.rlwc2013.com/tickets or call the 24-hour Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 2013.
Neil Budworth (Moranbah Miners)
Ross Divorty (Halifax)
Gil Dudson (Wigan Warriors)
Jacob Emmitt (Salford Red Devils)
Ben Evans (Bradford Bulls)
Rhys Evans (Warrington Wolves)
Ben Flower (Wigan Warriors)
Tyson Frizell (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Jordan James (Salford Red Devils)
Elliot Kear (Bradford Bulls)
Craig Kopzcak (Huddersfield Giants)
Rhodri Lloyd (Wigan Warriors)
Peter Lupton (Workington Town)
Larne Patrick (Huddersfield Giants)
Matt Seamark (Wynnum Manly Seagulls)
Anthony Walker (St Helens)
Ian Webster (Central Queensland Capras)
Lloyd White (Widnes Vikings)
Rhys Williams (Warrington Wolves)
1. Anthony Minichiello (C) (Sydney Roosters)
2. Joshua Mantellato (Newcastle Knights)
3. James Tedesco (Wests Tigers)
4. Aiden Guerra (Sydney Roosters)
5. Chris Centrone (North Sydney Bears)
6. Ben Falcone (Souths Logan Magpies)
7. Ryan Ghietti (Northern Pride)
8. Anthony Laffranchi (St Helens)
9. Dean Parata (Parramatta Eels)
10. Paul Vaughan (Canberra Raiders)
11. Mark Minichiello (Gold Coast Titans)
12. Cameron Ciraldo (Penrith Panthers)
13. Joel Riethmuller (North Queensland Cowboys)
14. Sam Gardel (Souths Logan Magpies)
15. Ryan Tramonte (Windsor Wolves)
16. Brendan Santi (Wests Tigers)
17. Raymond Nasso (Sporting Olympique Avignon)
18. Tim Maccan (Tweed Heads Seagulls)
19. Gavin Hiscox (Central Queensland Cappas)
Referee: Ashley Klein (Australia). Touch-judges: Jamal Thompson (New Zealand), Jose Pereira (France), Video Referee: Shayne Hayne (Australia)